Silverthorn(e) Name Study

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Location: England, United States, Canadamap
Surnames/tags: Silverthorn Silverthorne
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This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about one surname and the variants of that name. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect. Please join by contacting the project leader, Ted Marmo, and start adding this category to your Silverthorn(e) profiles. Post questions and comments to the bulletin board and add details about your particular area of interest.


The great work Monty (Frank Fremont) Reed contributed to our Silverthorn research in the 4 volumes of History of the Silverthorn Family (HSF) (3 bound volumes, 1982, and from 1983-1996, 22 newsletters which comprised Volume 4, a total of 2801 pages) needs to be acknowledged . This four volume work was a limited edition, but Ted Marmo has all four volumes and will share information, upon request. By June 2017, I have uploaded all the descendants of William Silverthorn and Jane Bartlow .

Meaning of Sillverthorn

According to Monty Reed, in, HSF, I':13, Silverthorn comes from the Old English name of Seolferthorn and means the family that lived by the silver or white thorn tree.

Check also: The Internet Surname Database.

Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms depicted to the right has been used by several members of the Silverthorn(e) family in the USA and Canada. However, this coat of arms was never authenticated as belonging to any of our ancestors by the College of Arms in Lond, and, in fact, was granted to another family.

Although we cannot register these arms in London, we can register them with the heraldic society in Boston, MA, and we can show that they have been used by members of our family in the United States and Canada since 1913. [From Monty Reed, HSF IV:2195-2196]

Monty goes on to establish certain "charges of distinction" to be placed on the center of the sheild to distinguish various branches of the SIlverthorn(e) family.

It should be noted that this Coat of Arms does not resemble the one available at House of Names

Earliest Mentions

The first record of the name occurs in 1327 in the Parish of Hemington and Hundred of Kilmersdon in the County of Somerset in the southwestern part of England. The French wife of King Edward II had raised a French army to overthrow her husband and place their son Edward III on the throne in 1327. It was necessary to raise the money to pay off her mercenaries by means of a tax of a twentieth of all moveables which were in each man's possession on Michaelmas (29 Sep) day. Named in this tax roll were:

  • Roger Selverthorn, 4 shillings
  • Richard Sylverthorne, 6 shillings
  • William Sylverthorn, 2 shillings.

The next mention is of

  • John Silverthorne of the parish of North Stoke, County of Somerset, who, on 22 May 1450, was instituted incumbent vicar of the Church of Saint Martin in the Archdeaconry of Bath.

Our ancestor (probably related to the above, but no evidence discovered yet)

  • John Silverthorne, of the parish of Steeple Ashton in the hundred of Whowelsdown and county of Wiltshire, was born about 1450, perhaps the son of another William, after whom he named his eldest son, married 1st about 1485-90, probably at Amesbury Avice Hobbes, who was born about 1460-65 and died by 1517, when her son William released her lands in West Amesbury to Gilbert Bekington, indicating that she was one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Thomas Hobbes (whose lands were divided in 1502; in March 1523 (14 Henry VIII), John Sylverthorne released his interest in the Hobbes lands in West Amesbury to William Southe, gentleman, who in 1529 acquired the interest of two of the daughters and co-heirs of Thomas Hobbes; the conflict between Bekington and Southe was not settled until 6 Oct 1538, when the chief justice of the King's Bench settled their variances, mentioning the deeds from John Sylverhotne and Avyce his wife and their son William. The Parish Church Records of Steeple Ashton (F.H.L.:1, 279, 371), show that John, WIlliam,and Margaret Sylverthorne were buried on the 12th, 16th, and 18th days of October 1538, respectively. In our [Monty Reed's] opinion, John and William were the father and son, born say 1450 and 1490, aged about 88 for John and 48 for William, and Margaret may well have been the 2nd wife of John, married soon after the death of Avyce in 1517.

Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire

Steeple Ashton, the home of our ancestors, just three miles east of Trowbridge, was a market town. For more on Steeple Ashton. Its parish church, St. Mary the Virgin, is where our ancestors were "hatched, matched, and dispatched". For more about the church and pictures.

Two Main Branches of Silverthorn(e)s in North America

  • Virginia/North Carolina Branch springs from William Silverthorne (1636-1706) who settled in Accomack County by 1657. He was well documented in the tything and court records more than 160 times from 1657 to 1706. HSF: III:1703-1744.

This is a work in progress, so be patient. There's more to come.


  • HSF, Frank Fremont Reed, History of the Silverthorn Family, Silverthorn Family Association, Chicago, IL, USA 1982. This four volume work was a limited edition, but Ted Marmo has all four volumes and will share information, upon request.

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